13 September 2011

Stained Glass Windows

Stained glass has been adding splendor to the great cathedrals of Europe for a thousand years. The first one that came to my mind was Chartres Cathedral in France. Monet painted a series of paintings of Rouen Cathedral, but he did paint Chartres in 1830.

The windows at Chartres are typical of the cathedrals constructed during that time period. Cath├ędrale Notre-Dame de Chartres, as it is known in French was built mostly between 1193 and 1250. Today, most of the stained glass is original, and few changes have been made since the 13th century. Below are the modern view of Chartres from the southeast, and the rose window on the north facade.

Fascinating post on Chartres Cathedral here.

Click here for a detailed identification of the figures in the window.
"As a material stained glass is glass that has been coloured by adding metallic salts during its manufacture. The coloured glass is crafted into stained glass windows in which small pieces of glass are arranged to form patterns or pictures, held together (traditionally) by strips of lead and supported by a rigid frame. Painted details and yellow stain are often used to enhance the design. The term stained glass is also applied to windows in which the colours have been painted onto the glass and then fused to the glass in a kiln." ~from Wikipedia.

For this project, we will be using Art Smart, by Susan Rodriguez. She suggests using squared black paper, folded in quarters to form the armature. Folding it like a snowflake would also work. After the shapes are cut from the paper, colored tissue paper or cellophane is glued to the back to color the work. It would be more visually appealing to cut two pieces of paper simultaneously and glue one to the back if the work is to be displayed in a window.

We have also made "glass" in colors that coordinated with our home and used them to stain the windows in the front door. We left them up for months and they provided privacy and a little bit of color. I took them down when I painted the outside of the front door red. Note to self: do that project again sometime. It was fun.

Updated 10/7/11 to include photos of finished projects.

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